An ordinary gamer is cleaning his Xbox Live inbox of dozens of friend requests each day, most of them containing a mercy plea from some Call of Duty cheater. What happened? His gamertag was shown in a Black Ops trailer.

The trailer for Black Ops' First Strike downloadable content pack hit on Monday, and at 0:23 - blink and you'll miss it - you see the kill ticker show the tag "Polar." Though it's probably a bot or placeholder name Treyarch used for the multiplayer capture, plenty of people thought it was a real tag, used by a real developer, and spammed it with friend requests. Most of them spelled three or more words correctly, too. Like this one:

Another: "How youu play in mapack erly" Dunno, but they need to do way instain mother.

Also, for those who are laughing because we've published the guy's XBLA tag - he emailed us the tip himself. Maybe he's coughed up the dough to change it already. Is this a conspiracy by Microsoft and Treyarch to get everyone to buy the $10 gamertag rename, one gamer at a time?

Gamer Tags and You The Internet [Ars Technica Forums]